It all starts with a simple email.
“They are scared and they are angry. It is a real terrible experience for them.”
Joe Ruthaford is talking about computer users who mistakenly launched a potent internet phishing scheme.
He recently saw one of those ravaged computers in his Beacon Hill repair shop.
“It is extremely damaging. It is one of the worst ones.” It’s called cryptolocker ransomware.
Kevin Swindon is with the FBI in Boston. “I would think about this particular type of malware as what would happen if your computer was destroyed,” Swindon said.
In the past 90 days, thousands of people worldwide have opened a seemingly innocuous link to track a holiday package. Suddenly, all the files on their computer are encrypted.
Joan Goodchild is the editor of “CSO,” Chief Security Officer magazine based in Framingham.
“This is a criminal operation. They are holding your folders and files ransom. We call this ransomware because that is exactly what it is. You need to pay in order to have access to them once again.”
And that is exactly what happened last month at the Swansea Police Department.